Letters - Thursday, June 10, 2021
Britain’s voting system is broken
Whatever disdain one holds for Dominic Cummings many of the things he said we knew to be correct.
One of these was that the binary choice at the last election in 2019 proved that the electoral system in Britain was broken.
It has been widely quoted that, at that election in England, it took approximately 38,000 votes to elect a Tory MP, 51,000 votes for a Labour MP, 334,000 for a Liberal Democrat and a staggering 865,000 for a Green MP.
The only other country in Europe with a First Past the Post system is that paradigm of democratic probity: Belarus.
The proposed boundary changes, voter identification/suppression and the regression to First Past the Post for mayoral elections are likely to consolidate the present situation.
We are in desperate need of consensus: a good example of this, for instance, is in relation to the reform of social care.
The recent political change in Israel, where a coalition of diametrically opposed parties has come together for common purpose, shows what can be achieved.
What is required here in Great Britain is a progressive alliance of parties to come together, agreeing not to oppose each other at the next General Election, on a joint manifesto to introduce Proportional Representation by the time of the following election.
Surely, it is only then, when all of our votes matter, that we can really be proud again of our democracy?
What was the point of jabs?
The frantic dash for our holiday-makers to get back from Portugal before the Tuesday 4am deadline, and the scenes at Faro airport, with Brits telling their stories to the media about the extra expense of having to cancel their holiday and rebook flights at exorbitant prices, was a complete and utter farce.
It also looks like June 21, when things should have been back to ‘normal’, is going to be put back to goodness knows when and so folks, it could be a week in Blackpool for most of us which is all thanks to the ‘Indian’ variant.
Sorry, I meant to say the ‘Delta’ variant, which has now been renamed by Number 10 and used as a smokescreen to take our eye off the fact that our porous borders are leaking like a sieve and people are sick and tired of hearing about the Indian variant which could possibly have been controlled at source (meaning the airports, and also putting India on the red list a lot sooner).
The thing that gets me is both myself and my wife have had our two ‘jabs’ which supposedly protects us from Covid and yet we are advised not to travel abroad.
So what’s the point of having it in the first place?
Why was action not taken sooner?
We are now advised the Indian variant, referred to as Delta, is extremely dominant in the UK, with the medical profession announcing that had the UK borders been closed at the outset of Delta arriving in the UK, then the country would not be in the mess it appears to be again.
Our wonderful NHS must be quaking at what might develop and the possibility of having to go through it all again – and all for a measly one per cent pay increase.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock must be so pleased at yet another Government failure. The question is, why is it Johnson, Hancock and their front bench Cabinet cronies failed to take decisive action when they became aware of the new variant, especially when they knew of the variant long before it became public knowledge?
Then to top that failure, they allowed people to travel to Portugal under the so-called traffic light system, only to change the category from green to amber almost immediately. It has caused chaos, with many travellers suffering financially in order to get back to the UK before 4am on June 8. How ridiculous is that?
Not only that but, potentially, upwards of 25,000 travellers are arriving back from an enforced, shortened holiday with perhaps infections in abundance.
As for self-isolating, many have stated they will ignore the requirement – especially as it is totally impossible to police – so the likelihood of infections spreading is a possibility.
What an inept Cabinet we have in relation to their handling of the pandemic with tens of thousands having already died.
Britain is an island with much undiscovered beauty; now is the ideal time for its inhabitants to embark on adventurous sight-seeing tours – with airport delays, passport control and self-isolation non-existent.
Peter Rickaby via email
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